LEGISLATION ENACTED.

I have just one announcement to make. I have the honour to inform the Dáil that two Bills passed by the Oireachtas have received the assent of the Governor-General, and I understand the other two Bills have received the consideration of the Seanad and have been passed. I regret to say that the Minister for Industry and Commerce cannot possibly be present this evening. He is at present engaged in a conference in connection with the railways, and I do not see how it would be possible for him to be present. Next there is the matter of the Amnesty Bill, which is down for the First Reading to-day. I have to ask the indulgence of the Dáil in connection with it. At present it has received only consideration at one meeting of the Executive Council, and I do not know whether it will be possible to have it in print before Christmas. Directly it is in print we will circulate it to the Deputies. I expect it should be in print by the middle of next week. I have just one thing to say on the matter. There was a notice published on the 10th February last, signed by Micheál O Coileán, and it was as follows:—

"Now that a Treaty of Peace has been concluded between the peoples of Ireland and Great Britain, the Provisional Government hereby decree a General Amnesty in respect of all acts committed in the course of the recent hostilities. This amnesty extends to all members of the naval, military, police or civil services of the British Government, and all other persons by whom acts of hostility against the Irish people were committed, aided or abetted, whether in Ireland or elsewhere, during the past six years, and the full protection of the law will be afforded to all such persons against violence or injury of any kind.

"The Provisional Government appeal to all Irish citizens to respect this amnesty in the spirit and in the letter. In this, as in other matters, we must not suffer ourselves to be outdone by our late enemies in seeking that the wrongs of the past may be buried in oblivion."

Now, the Dáil is aware of the fact that we have got through four rather important legislative enactments, and considering the matter very carefully we came to the conclusion that it would be inadvisable to rush this legislation at this moment. Therefore, it is thought desirable that we should further consider this proposed Bill, and also the Criminal and Malicious Injuries Bill that I spoke of yesterday evening. I will ask the indulgence of the House in that respect to wait the re-assembling after the adjournment before considering either of these Bills. If they are printed before the Dáil meets again we will see that they are in the hands of Deputies at the earliest possible moment.

Could not the first reading be moved now?

Yes; with the permission of the Dáil, I will ask leave to bring in the Bill and have it read the first time. Then, we will have it circulated at the earliest possible moment.

Does that apply to the one Bill, or to the two?

It applies to the Amnesty Bill which is on the Order Paper.

Motion to introduce Amnesty Bill put and agreed to.
Bill brought in and read the first time.